Updated for 2014
I imagine few among us have never considered taking our passion for food craft to the next stage. Perhaps you've mastered a certain jam, or have a secret recipe for a killer BBQ sauce, or have even conquered the holy grails of cheese making, home brewing or charcuterie. Would you take it to market?
It's not for the weak of heart, which is why I'm always so impressed by those that do. It's also why I'm a big fan of the Good Food Awards. In their fourth year now, they seek out the best craft foods in the nation, aiming to put them on a pedestal for the world to see.
I know some of you in the Punk Domestics community have taken the leap and turned your perfect creations into market-ready goods. And so I hope that each of you will select your finest products and submit them to the Good Food Awards. The entry period is currently open; simply go here to fill out the entry form before August 1. If you're selected, your product will be up for blind tasting in September.
I am also proud to announce that I will be one of the judges in the Preserves category this year. As noted, the tastings are blind, so I'm afraid I cannot afford any preferential treatment to Punk Domestics community members.
Want to see an example of a cottage food business who's gone on to bring home the gold? Check out my interview with Julia Sforza of Half-Pint Preserves, herself a Punk Domestics contributor, too. Also check out my interview with Dafna Kory of INNA Jam, who also has won.
The winners are announced at a grand gala in San Francisco in January, and a lavish affair it is. I've had the pleasure of attending on the first and third years. It's such a pleasure to see the hard work of these artisans recognized. And it's an even greater pleasure to taste their handicrafts directly.
It's summer, and everyone's gardens are overflowing with zucchini. Don't be daunted! Here's a bunch of ways to put up your zukes so can enjoy them well into the colder months.
Having an herb garden is great, when you need a pinch of this or that. But when the herbs go rangy and begin to bolt, it's time to hack them back and put them by. Here's a few applications for when you need to use your homegrown herbs by the hank.
Fire up the grill and bust out the wood chips. Summer is smokin' hot, and we've got a variety of hot smoking projects for your Smokey Joe. What are you smoking?
Peaches -- can there be a more perfect fruit? When these fuzzy friends are in season, you gotta get all over them. How many ways will you put up peaches this year?
Like sunshine trapped in a soft, fuzzy fruit, apricots are the ultimate harbinger of summer. Here's a bushelful of ways to make the most of them.
Dandelions are more than mere weeds -- they're one of the more useful wild plants, and they're readily available in your backyard. Check out this list of projects to see why dandelions are just dandy.
I've spent more than my share of time in the kitchen, particularly over the past few years. Along the way, I've learned a thing or ten, tips and techniques that I've uncovered either by trial and error or by working with others with greater savvy than I. Being at ease in the kitchen is a skill that comes with time; none of us is born with the knowledge.
But you can shortcut your way to being a kitchen ninja, thanks to Kate Payne. Kate first came to our collective rescue with The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, where she taught us all how to keep a happy, healthy home, with bonus sanity-saving tips on things like how to fold a fitted sheet. (My previous method involved rolling it up in a wad and cramming it in the closet.)
I first met Kate when she and her wife, the talented photog JoAnn Santangelo, came to the Bay Area to promote that book. At Blue Chair Fruit, we had a not-your-grandmother's tea party with finger sandwiches, scones ... and homemade tea liqueur courtesy of yours truly.
Since then, Kate and I have maintained a friendship, and last year she and I did a panel at BlogHer Food 13 with Sarah Tetreault on how to maximize yield of your food through a variety of preservation techniques.
This is the sort of thing Kate does best -- frugality through common sense methods. And with her new book, The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen, she applies the same clarity to the most important room in the house.